Question about translations and grammar

Hi everyone! I am trying to write a comic and I wasn’t sure about the grammar in it. Could anyone give me some tips or suggestions for improvement? Also if it sounds awkward… Shoot me your suggestions please!

Person A: Come to think of it… As a vampire, he now has stronger abilities than before… Good… It’s more difficult to use a sword at higher floors after all… (context being person B can use vampire powers rather than continue using a sword)

Person A: 考えてみると… ヴァンパイアとして、彼は今までよりも強い能力を持っています。。…良い…結局のところ、高層階で剣を使用することはより困難です。

Person A sees person B still using a sword
Person A: Are you crazy?!

Person A: 大丈夫?! OR ばかじゃないの?! (I wasn’t sure which fit the situation more😅)

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I think it’s pretty understandable but… is Person A talking to himself? If so, he shouldn’t be using polite language. If not, who he’s talking to is very important for determining what kind of language he should use. It could sound very unnatural for someone to monologue in teineigo unless their character quirk is “always speaks in teineigo” or something like that.

Also I guess it probably makes more sense in context, but why does being on a higher floor make it harder to use a sword? I don’t quite get that part. :sweat_smile:

For the second part, ばかじゃないの? sounds more like something a girl would say, when I read it I hear it in a tsundere voice. :laughing: I think maybe a slightly different flavoring (to match with the rest of his speech) could help, maybe ばかかよ or something along those lines.

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Thank you so much for your reply! Oh that’s an excellent point. Yes, Person A is talking to himself so it shouldn’t be polite.

Haha it’s because it’s in the setting of “Tower of God” where the thick atmosphere makes it difficult to use a sword ( I don’t completely understand it myself).

So then would this be correct?

考えてみると… ヴァンパイアとして、彼は今までよりも強い能力を持って いる。。…良い…結局のところ、高層階で剣を使用することはより困難。

ばかかよ?!

Maybe put だね on the end of that last talking-to-themselves sentence, or at least just だ. I don’t think that you can comfortably just drop a form of です off the end completely unless it’s a very slang-filled dialogue. You could even use だよね as a sort of “ya know?” kind of feel, but I’m not sure how you have the character talking in earlier bits so it might not fit with the way they talk.

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Now that it’s in casual which makes more sense, I think いいだろう instead of just いい would probably sound more natural. Maybe also a だろう at the end of the last sentence or はずだ or something along those lines.

By the way, I don’t think dropping だ is particularly slangy, though it can sound effeminate depending on the situation so for a male character it might sound slightly off. Ending on a hard だ by itself can often sound rather harsh, which works well for some male characters in fiction but yeah again it depends.

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Thank you all for your input :hugs:
This is the final passage so far… (Hopefully it’s natural to say 爪 as claws)
考えてみると。。 ヴァンパイアとして、彼は今までよりも強い能力を持っている。彼は鋭い牙と爪を使うことができる。
いいだろう。結局のところ、高層階で剣を使用することはより困難だね。
ばかかよ?!

I honestly prefer to preserve the author’s original wording as much as possible when translating (your words, in this case), but I think there are some things that I think would be more natural said in a different way (at least based on anime). The sentences are grammatically correct as far as I know, but I just think that other words might be better.

How I might say it:

そう言えば… ヴァンパイアとして、彼は前/以前よりも強い能力を持って いる…それはいいそもそも高層階で剣を使うの難しい

Sorry for taking out so many kanji. I love kanji (Mandarin is one of my mother tongues), but I think using a Sino-Japanese word consisting entirely of kanji when there’s a more common Japanese word makes the sentence sound too formal. To put it another way, in the middle of a battle, a Japanese character is not going to reach for some word he hardly uses when there’s another one that’s really familiar jumping to the forefront of his mind. A quick breakdown of my suggestions:

  • 考えてみると, in my opinion, sounds more like ‘now that I think about it’ or ‘upon reflection’. Whether or not you want to keep it depends on what you want to express, but I feel that 考える really implies fairly serious thought. If you wanted something to express a simple realisation or a thought that struck someone, I think そう言えば・そう言ったら is better. However, the use of そう makes it seem like as though the speaker is referring to something that was just mentioned or something that came up a little while earlier in his thoughts, so if this is Person A’s very first thought, it might not be that appropriate. I suggested it because this scene feels like a transition between two other scenes.
  • Since you used ‘before’ in English, I figured 前 or 以前 would be a closer fit. The problem with 今まで is that it means ‘up to now’, so it doesn’t work unless the vampire transformation happened moments ago.
  • いい on its own is kinda weird. I was considering それでいい at first, but I think で would make it into something like ‘that works/is fine’, because it indicates something like a means or condition? それはいい doesn’t sound very ‘anime battle scene’ though… The other thing you can do is to take @phyro’s suggestion and use いいだろう, which kinda fits what you originally typed since it was ‘Good…’ in English, meaning the speaker isn’t sure and is mulling it over. By the way, the reason I removed 良い is because it’s usually pronounced よい, which is something only characters meant to be ‘grand’ (genuinely or as a joke) do.
  • そもそも because 結局 is more like ‘in the end’ or ‘ultimately’. It’s not the same sort of ‘after all’. そもそも is more literally ‘to begin with’, but I think you’ll agree that it fits. I’m not sure if 結局のところ exists. I hadn’t seen it before.
  • 使用 is something I’m used to seeing on the back of my Frixion pen box, where there are polite instructions from Pilot Pen on how to use the pens and when not to use them. I’m pretty sure that in anime, 使用 is primarily used as a noun to mean ‘the use of…’. 使う is probably more natural if you’re looking for informal speech, especially thoughts going through Person A’s head.
  • 困難 is, once again, probably not the first word a Japanese person would reach for. 「困難」は難しい言葉だよ!It’s completely fine if you want your character to have a sort of intellectual side to him – maybe he was some high school kanbun (漢文) genius before entering the Tower. However, it doesn’t sound particularly informal. Also, the reason I dropped より is because I find that Japanese people using より to emphasise the fact that a comparison is being made without specifying what something is being compared to is really rare. It’s not grammatically wrong, but as my friend studying in Japan once said, ‘Japanese has no comparative form.’ It’s natural for us English speakers, but in Japanese, the nuance of comparison comes mostly from context. If you want to preserve the idea of progression/change, I suggest using 難しくなる. You might also want to add し or から right after that, because Japanese people are quite comfortable with adding these ‘justification particles’ even when they translate into nothing in English. (E.g. in Oregairu, Komachi tells her brother, Hachiman, not to get into any accidents because she’s with him on his bike – 今日は小町乗ってるから –, which just becomes ‘I’m riding with you’ in English. から vanishes.)
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I see you added a sentence, so I’ll just address this one.

This seems a bit too factual. I think what you want to say is something like ‘He can just use his sharp fangs and claws now’, right? Maybe something like

今の彼には鋭い牙や爪もあるし。

would work. I added し because I think this sentence needs to feel like it’s adding on to the previous one about his new abilities. Same reason I used も. (Initially, I was going to use が, but I realised that wasn’t as good.)

EDIT: The other way to say it is something like「っていうか、鋭い牙や爪を使えばいい。」=‘For that matter, he can just use his sharp fangs and claws’, but that might conflict with the uncertainty expressed by いいだろう later.

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Yes I really wanted to say “before” rather than “up to now”, the transformation didn’t happen moments ago.
「いいだろう」 expresses uncertainty? In that case, I will go with 今の彼には鋭い牙や爪もあるし。

Thank you so much!! :joy: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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A bit, IMO, since the だろう and でしょう tend to make a statement more like a proposition and less like an insistent assertion. Or maybe it’s something like a mental shrug: ‘I guess that’s OK’ or ‘Very well’ (though this second option sometimes becomes a pompous よかろう, which is 良く+あろう – once again, this is for those characters channelling grandeur (or just chuunibyou… :laughing:) ) Someone else might have a different and more informed opinion though. I just tried imagining the times I’ve heard いいだろう and the kinds of feelings it evokes.

You’re welcome in any case. Enjoy your comic, and all the best! :grin:

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I’m learning a lot of new things through this thread…! Saving everything, thanks again! :laughing:

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Yeah the reason I suggested いいだろう is because that’s what I typically hear in anime in that kind of situation, if they are going to say “that’s good” or “very well” or “I welcome the challenge” kinda thing, that is typically how they’d say it. いい sounds more like you genuinely like something I guess? I think the point about using more conversational words is also a good suggestion, it does depend on the intended tone of the original work, but I think that’s generally a good rule to follow, for the same reason I suggested dropping the teineigo. I think you’re doing pretty well though, good luck!

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